Summary Care Records now accessed once every five seconds

Summary Care Records (SCRs) derived from GP patient records are now accessed 'every five seconds' by other healthcare professionals, NHS Digital has revealed.

Making greater use of SCRs will ‘make a big impact on improving patient care’, according to NHS Digital chief executive director Eve Roodhouse.

Speaking at the UK Health Show in London on Wednesday, she added that there is now almost universal coverage of SCRs across pharmacists, with 96% able to access them.

Pharmacists have previously said access to SCRs will cut the amount of admin time GPs spend fielding questions from pharmacists by up to 80%.

Ms Roodhouse said: ‘Every five seconds a clinician accesses an electronic Summary Care Record.

SCR access

'This is important information taken from a patient’s GP medical records, which can be accessed electronically by an authorised clinician anywhere in the country if they are directly involved in that patient’s care.’

She went on to stress the importance of investing in digital technology to ensure care settings are linked up and able to properly communicate with each other.

She added: ‘It makes sense that services like Spine, the Electronic Prescription Service, e-referrals and NHS Mail, which are massively important to connecting health and care professionals, are delivered centrally as standardised, secure products.

‘Everybody needs them and will use them for the same type of basic activity.

‘For instance, the NHS needs to send emails to each other and it needs to book appointments with each other. Yet the NHS spends more on postage nationally than it would take to fund more than 2,000 extra nurses.’

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